Though he appeared before a grand jury, Anderson was not called to testify in Jordan’s trial.
Jordan’s cousin and co-defendant, Michael Hamlin, ultimately pleaded guilty to murder and testified against Jordan, who was later convicted and sentenced to 65 years in prison. Hamlin was sentenced to 26 years.
Mr. Durham testified that prosecutors saw no connection between Anderson’s testimony before the grand jury and Hamlin’s guilty plea.
Anderson disagrees. The application says he “took considerable risk while doing this while still being held in the Washington, D.C., Jail, within reach of associates of these individuals.”
Clemency chances vary
Legal said it’s not clear whether Anderson’s information about the Rosenbaum case will help in his bid for clemency.
Douglas A. Berman, an Ohio State University law professor and clemency specialist, said Anderson’s application does go beyond many of the standard arguments by white-collar defendants, who often argue they can earn more money to pay fines by working rather than sitting in prison.
“It’s not a generic suggestion … it’s a very interesting case,” Mr. Berman said of the application. “It’s a last opportunity for the most politically accountable government official to do all or nothing at his choice, so you never know what is going to happen.”
But Dan Kobil, a law professor at Capital University in Ohio, said Anderson faces long odds in securing a commutation from President Bush: “President Bush is the stingiest pardoning president in history,” he said, saying few of the thousands of commutation applications are approved.
He said the chances for Anderson are especially tough if he hasn’t paid restitution.
Authorities say Anderson, who has spent millions of dollars to fund private space exploration ventures, including once backing efforts to lease the Mir space station, evaded paying taxes through a complex network of offshore corporations that earned at least $450 million from 1995 to 1999.
Anderson got his start in telecommunications in the 1980s when the industry was being deregulated. He was arrested by federal authorities in February 2005 at Washington Dulles International Airport moments after arriving from London.
In sentencing papers, prosecutors called Anderson “a brilliant visionary in the business world” but also a “tax cheat.”
“In reality, defendant simply loathed taxes,” they argued, adding that Anderson spent $30 million to lease the Mir space station from Russia with money that should have gone to the U.S. and D.C. treasuries to pay for teacher salaries, public health and other “collective goals” of citizens.
Anderson disputes the account and, since his plea, he has argued in the clemency petition that he pleaded guilty partly because he couldn’t prepare for trial inside the D.C. Jail, which he described as “hellhole with daily sleep deprivation and other tortures.”View Entire Story
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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